With the rising cost of attending college, public and private universities have become more expensive for students to attend. While many students take out student loans, there are also free grants for students available to pay for their college tuition, books, research, living expenses, to study abroad and for other school related costs. The good thing about grants is they do not have to be paid back like student loans. Most grant awards are between $500 and approximately $5,000 with the average grant being around $2,000.
Student grants are given to a diverse social, ethnic and economic group of students so that they can attend college. Government grants are based upon financial needs while some are merit based. You don’t need to be a straight A student or of college age to qualify for a grant for your education. People who are unemployed and need retraining, single mothers, minorities, veterans, disabled persons and other groups of people are also eligible for student grants.
Grants are given by the government, private organizations and businesses, universities and colleges and employers.
Federal grants require that students meet the following eligibility requirements:
U.S. citizens or have permanent residency status
Any stipulations or requirements attached to a grant award are set forth in the application so that students understand the terms of the grant and their obligations. If students do not comply with grant requirements, they may be subject to repaying them back to the donor. For instance, if a student drops or withdraws from a class after the add/drop period, the student will probably have to repay the donor for any grant monies received for attending that class. Students are encouraged to apply early for grants for college and to apply to more than one grant source since there is a lot of competition for grants and a limited amount of resources available with more students attending college nowadays.
Where to Find College Education Grants?
The federal government provides Pell Grants to qualified students who demonstrate a financial need. There are also Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for students who have a severe financial need. Other federal grant programs include the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants, the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. To find out more about government grants or to apply for government college grants, students can visit the government’s website at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
State governments give students college grants as well. The student can apply for local state grants at their state’s website. Most colleges and universities also have links on their websites to government grants, private organization grants and their own school grants. Many private organizations offer college grants to students. While a large number of grants for students are for undergraduate students, there are also grants available for graduate students. The best resource for finding grants is for students to talk with their financial aid office at their school to find out about public and private grant opportunities that are available for their specific needs and areas of studies.